Dongers Club - Friday June 29th

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Today is a 14 game main slate with lots of extreme heat heading into the 4th of July week. I suspect we see a boost in casual lineups around DFS over the next week or so but I also suspect we see some crazy shit in games everywhere. I want to first look back at last night though and draw something from it. We had four games on the slate, of which each kind of fell into a tier of its own with one at the top as a high chalk game simply because of a Vegas Run Total despite folks not being able to have a brain for their own and consider how the game could play out, another game in a tiny hitters park with mediocre pitchers (Brewers/Reds) and two other games with elite strikeout pitchers going against teams who are ice cold one of which was in a pitchers park. I highlight this because on a 14 game slate, we want to filter out the games based upon these tiers and then pick 1 game from each type of tier and use that to construct a lineup.

Find the game that is drawing heavy chalk and then turn your brain on and make a decision on the game. I faded the Red Sox entirely last night and it didn't burn me one bit. Folks continue to use the Vegas totals too much to make a decision on a game and if you turn that data off you'll find that you should have a better success rate on picking the right teams. Lets look for teams in good matchups and good ballparks who are hot and are coming in with a good flow to the matchup.


As of this morning when I am drinking my coffee and playing my normal approach I am going into no tournament with more than ~500 people in it tonight. It's a 3-entry max tournament and thus I don't need to worry about some 6-9 stack for a team in a pitchers ballpark who might go off against a terrible bullpen. I don't need to hole out from the rough 250 yards out on my second shot on a par 5 to win my tournament -- but I do need to make sure that I manage to get within range to get up and down in 2 to make par at worst here all the while giving myself a chance to hit that magical shot that drops right next to the hole for a double eagle on a par 5 which is far more impressive than a hole in 1.

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oh, right, right. you came here for Baseball talk.

Yes, so these games are spots that on a 14 game slate, I am taking out the sharpie and just drawing a big X over them, I care not for them at all. These games dont matter tonight for hitting choices.

  1. Mets vs Marlins
  2. Astros vs Rays
  3. Rockies vs Dodgers
  4. Pirates vs Padres

Now I am down to 20 teams left, lets cross of teams I just don't wanna bother with

  1. Royals vs Mariners ... Seattle is coming back after a long road trip and also played yesterday in Baltimore. They are a quieter offense at home and this is a good park for Ian Kennedy. Royals are sneaky/pesky but not even I can justify them on a main lineup tonight on a 14 game slate.... Cross em off then.
  2. Red Sox vs Yankees ... I rarely deal with these jokers when they're playing on a 14 game slate like this and as much as I wanna slap the piss out of E-Rod in 90 degree temps in Yankee Stadium, I will pass on a Yankee lineup without Sanchez and with a bunch of mediocre hitters (suck it).... Side note, both teams struggled in their game before this series and it's a lock that they lose their first game AFTER they play each other.

Sweet, now we have eliminated 6 games and are down to 16 teams left, lets remove some of the teams that are in lopsided games in my mind.

  1. Oakland ... They suck at home and are facing Bauer
  2. Detroit ... I only use the Tigers against lefties

I have now successfully narrowed my slate down to a 7 game slate. Pause right there. I just quickly turned a "massive" slate that some people struggle with down to a 7 game Monday or Thursday slate that many seem to love and do better on. All it took was me scrolling through the games and looking at who was playing where, who was pitching and what the weather was and knowing how teams were coming in (or going out at the end of the series). The 14-15 game slates are normally only on Tuesday's and Friday's which will usually have most of the games starting new series. You need to look at the teams and decide is this going to be a high scoring series or a low scoring series and start there. Every decision we make in DFS is going to be right or wrong, have some balls and make a choice and the best way to deal with a big slate is to remove the dead games..... "This guy here is dead" ..............

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Now I have gotten down to 14 teams left that I might dig into, lets first look at these donkey run totals to see if there is any bad chalk to go against. Quick glance the Rangers, Angels, Blue Jays, White Sox, Indians, Yankees, Brewers are going to be teams that optimizers and folks who really have no clue how to analyze Baseball will look at and think I should get players from these teams. My personal take here is that there's plenty of teams on a big slate that we really don't gotta worry about ownership. To me ownership only matters if you are rostering a bad player or pitcher and if it is on a small slate and even then it should be one of the last things that comes into play because the first choice is do I have a player that I like and will he do well? If so, I don't really care if they are 2% owned compared to another chalky play at 50% that much. Stop caring about ownership. Stop!!! Worry about that on a specific slate in a small contest where game theory matters. It doesn't matter tonight IMO.

Let's stop on the team/game analytical part here and lets go ahead and jump into finding my arms for tonight, we'll pick up the hitters again in a bit .....


My favorites

  1. Trevor Bauer (13.3k) ... That's a hefty price tag to pay for a pitcher on the road and Oakland isn't exactly the WORST strikeout team on the slate and not against RHP either, but they are up there. Bauer should pitch very well tonight and for $300 less I like him to beat out deGrom, and I don't trust Cole right now for $300 less than Bauer so he is my guy. Don't ask about Corbin in Arizona, I will cover him in a little bit....
  2. Gerrit Cole ... I don't hate him, just prefer Bauer.
  3. Joe Musgrove (7.6k) ... I don't see how he isn't a popular play as folks always pick on the Padres and I certainlly circled him first when I was going through the games. Late night hammer here for Musgrove going into Petco which has really gone back to an extreme pitchers park this season after being sneaky the past two years. He doesn't have a ton of offense behind him, but then we look at the opposing pitcher and oooh yeah it's Eric Lauer. So he's gonna be fine to win IMO.
  4. Marcus Stroman (6.3k) ... A non heavy strikeout guy against a contact team. Perfect DK play tonight in my mind. He looked really good in Anaheim in his first start last week and the confidence is huge with Stroman.


  1. Ian Kennedy (6.4k) ... Royals win tonight and asking Kennedy to pitch back to back gems is tough but I'm here for it.
  2. Felix Pena ... For 6600 a pitcher who should win assuming he gets through 5 innings and has good strikeout upside is worth a longshot play. Hate the park and weather here but the Orioles have limited lefties to do damage against him.
  3. Sandy Alcantara ... I have been harping AGAINST the rookie pitchers and using them in their first start, but this is a different case study. He's legit one of the top prospects coming up and facing the Mets in a pitchers park. He'll be on a pitch count tonight but for crying out loud fucking Rich Hill is basically on tme same pitch count and is $2400 more against a better offense in the Rockies. Alcantara on a third lineup would be a pairing with Bauer if you are looking to shave a little $$.


  1. Patrick Corbin ... Ever since mid May I have been saying that the Diamondbacks are tinkering with the humidor settings in Arizona. We have seen extreme swings between the high strikeout totals and the home run totals that we are used to in Chase Field. One series its banana land with homers and the next series it was insane strikeout totals from both home and road pitchers. Nobody seems to benefit from the grip improvement more than Corbin, but as much as his price is tempting I am still scared as hell that the ball will fly outta here tonight even with a closed roof. I love using chase field hitters no matter the roof status when it's the first game home after a long D'Backs road trip. Yep, file this into the top 10 dongers club manifest weirdo trends but I see runs here tonight. That said, if I am wrong, Corbin will ball out against the Giants.


  1. Angels ... Mike Trout has a hurt hand, but man that thing sure is gonna heal quickly when he is back close to home. Trout always rakes in Camden Yards and delivers highlights here. Yeah, I am recommending the best player in baseball, but mind you he has been a fade for me the last few days in Boston which is equally a good hitters ballpark. Not today, the law of averages is going to catch-up with Trout who hasn't homered in a couple of weeks (saying something for the best player in the game). Trout, Pujols, Calhoun. Angels in Camden weekend.
  2. Brewers ... So lets check off the Brewers who didnt homer last night ... Gimme Braun... Thanks, next question.
  3. White Sox ... Abreu, Davidson and Moncada. Lots of Moncada for me tonight.
  4. Indians ... Won't be a home run fest but they should feast on Blackburn tonight and a huge ballpark will mean double city for guys like Lindor, Brantley and Ramirez.


  1. Giants/D'Backs ... Roof open during the week to grow the grass? Yeah, I'm thinking so. Game will fly under the radar tonight, but we got two lefties in Chase and that's too tempting for me to pass up. McCuchen, Posey, Hernandez and Mac for the Giants while who doesn't wanna use JR at home vs a lefty along with Goldy and Peralta ... Keep an eye on who bats second tonight for Arizona.



Catcher is pretty good, but I'd look to pair it as part of a team exposure tonight instead of going one off, all these guys are on teams I like (sans Zunino).

  1. J.R. Murphy
  2. Buster Posey
  3. Manny Pina
  4. Mike Zunino


Loaded position, you need a home run here tonight.

  1. Jose Abreu
  2. Albert Pujols
  3. Paul Goldschmidt
  4. Yonder Alonso


Love Moncada in Texas against Gallardo, beyond that the rest of these guys are all the same for me tonight as its getting exposure to the game in Cincy and looking at Whit vs Marco G he should have a decent game today and is one of the reasons I dont love Marco as a SP.

  1. Yoan Moncada ... Gimme Moncada for $400 over Odor all day today
  2. Scooter Gennett
  3. Whit Merrifield
  4. Jonathan Villar


Not a great position today, I suspect Carpenter and Valbuena take up a lot of exposure. Nolan and Jose Ramirez will be completely ignored tonight but they're my top favorite guys. Don't be scared to get weird here with weird guys not listed such as David Freese or Matt Davidson.

  1. Jose Ramirez
  2. Nolan Arenado ... SoCal Nolan
  3. Matt Carpenter ... Lefties vs Julio
  4. Luis F'n Valbuena ... In one of those "hey I suck but im gonna do some bullshit at 30% ownership" spots.


  1. Nick Ahmed ... Assuming he is the one who gets to bat 2nd.
  2. Manny Machado
  3. Trea Turner ... He's gonna take Pivetta deep
  4. Adalberto Raul Mondesi Jr.


  1. Trout, Mike
  2. Ryan Braun Friday on the road
  3. Shin-Soo Choo
  4. Bryce Harper


  1. Marcell Ozuna
  2. Joey Gallo
  3. Starling Marte
  4. Andrew McCutchen
  5. Teoscar Hernandez


  1. Steve Pearce ... Assuming they wanted him for this series so I gotta assume he gets a start today
  2. Kole Calhoun
  3. Gorkys Hernandez
  4. Colby Rasums
  5. Billy Hamilton ... Been a while since we had some Friday Night Lights


  1. Yoan Moncada - 2B - Chairman
  2. Mike Trout - OF
  3. Trea Turner - SS
  4. Ryan Braun - OF
  5. David Freese - 3B
  6. Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
  7. Buster Posey - C
  8. Shin Soo-Choo - OF
  9. BONUS ..................... Kole Cahoun - OF